On March 23, 2020, the co-directors of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Stephanie Avakian and Steve Peikin, issued an unambiguous warning against insider trading and other illegal practices stemming from the COVID-19 fallout.  In their joint statement, the co-directors explained that “[i]n these dynamic circumstances, corporate insiders are regularly learning new material nonpublic information that may hold an even greater value than under normal circumstances.” Those with such access “should be mindful of their obligations to . . . comply with the prohibitions on illegal securities trading.”

The SEC’s co-directors emphasized that the Enforcement Division is committing “substantial resources” to combat fraud and illegal practices in these unprecedented times. Their warning comes amid extreme market volatility resulting from the pandemic, and similar statements from the DOJ about ramping up COVID-19 related enforcement efforts.

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Photo of Derek Hahn Derek Hahn

Derek Hahn is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group and a member of the firm’s Investigation Practice. Derek’s practice focuses on white collar defense, internal investigations, complex litigation, and compliance counseling.  He represents clients in an array…

Derek Hahn is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group and a member of the firm’s Investigation Practice. Derek’s practice focuses on white collar defense, internal investigations, complex litigation, and compliance counseling.  He represents clients in an array of government investigations and enforcement actions alleging financial fraud, public corruption, conflicts of interest, counterfeiting, procurement integrity, and health care fraud. Derek has also defended clients in several multi-million dollar environmental enforcement matters at both the federal and state level.

Derek has extensive experience managing matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) having counseled clients in multiple industries on FCPA matters across six continents. His FCPA experience includes government and internal investigations, third-party due diligence reviews, compliance program and training development, and anti-corruption risk assessments. He has defended multiple FCPA investigations brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Photo of Daniel Zelenko Daniel Zelenko

Daniel L. Zelenko is a partner in the New York office of Crowell & Moring and serves as co-chair of the firm’s nationally recognized White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group. Dan is a former federal prosecutor and senior enforcement lawyer at the U.S.

Daniel L. Zelenko is a partner in the New York office of Crowell & Moring and serves as co-chair of the firm’s nationally recognized White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group. Dan is a former federal prosecutor and senior enforcement lawyer at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He has been recognized as a leader in the white collar and regulatory enforcement bar by Chambers USA since 2016 and is held in high regard for his U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and SEC experience and his antitrust and securities enforcement experience. Chambers USA described Dan as a “tremendous talent” who “tries cases really impressively before the government,” noting that he “is a very effective advocate who sees the whole picture,” is “thoroughly knowledgeable about the legal and regulatory landscape,” and that “he knows his way around the street, and knows how to work with people in difficult situations.” Dan has been quoted as a leading authority on white collar defense and government investigations in numerous media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg and Reuters and has appeared on CNN.